Health Law Advocates, Inc.
One Federal Street
Boston, MA 02110

Ph: 617-338-5241
Fax: 617-338-5242

About HLA

Mission Statement & What We Do

Mission Statement

Health Law Advocates (HLA) is a 501(c)(3public interest law firm whose mission is to provide pro bono legal representation to low-income residents experiencing difficulty accessing or paying for needed medical services. HLA is committed to ensuring universal access to quality health care in Massachusetts, particularly for those who are most at risk due to such factors as race, gender, disability, age, or geographic location. With its partner organization, Health Care For All, HLA combines legal expertise with grassroots organizing and policy reform to advance the statewide movement for universal health care access.

Representing Individuals

HLA provides free legal assistance to income-eligible individuals who live in Massachusetts and are having difficulty obtaining health care or insurance coverage. HLA also provides help to consumers who have incurred medical debt due to wrongful denials by payors, inadequate insurance screenings by providers, or unfair or deceptive trade practices by payors or providers. We accept cases related to:

  • Denials of coverage by private health insurance plans

  • Denials of coverage by government programs such as MassHealth or CommCare

  • Denials of eligibility under Health Safety Net or Medical Hardship programs

  • Medical bills not covered by insurance

  • Unfair of deceptive sales practices in the non-group health insurance market

  • Loss of health insurance following divorce

In general, to be eligible for our services, a client should have income no greater than 300% of Federal Poverty Level Guidelines and lack other financial means to afford a private lawyer. As of January 2016, 300% of the Federal Poverty Level is $35,310 annually for an individual and $72,750 annually for a family of four.

When you contact HLA, we will determine whether you are eligible for HLA's services. This may require an intake interview by telephone.

If we do not accept your case, we will try to refer you elsewhere for help. If you do not live in Massachusetts, we recommend that you contact a legal aid office or attorney referral service in your area. A local legal aid office will be better able to direct you to someone who can help in your state.

If you think you have a legal problem HLA could help with, please contact us. Do you know someone who cannot get the health care he or she needs? Download this handy flyer that explains what we do.

Representing Groups of Consumers and Communities

HLA provides legal representation in matters that affect access to health care for groups of consumers and communities in Massachusetts. We accomplish this through pursuing impact lawsuits in the courts and other avenues, including working with community health care coalitions. Our projects and accomplishments include:

  • Suing the state to obtain adequate dental care for MassHealth members
  • Ensuring a voice for communities whose hospitals are threatened with closure
  • Representing health care consumers affected by the receivership of a major HMO
  • Obtaining a binding agreement from the state to continue therapy services for disabled children
  • Filing "friend of the court" briefs in cases involving important health care access issues

For more information about HLA's impact work, check out Priority Areas.

Education, Outreach, and Other Initiatives

HLA advances the cause of health care justice in other ways, including:

  • Providing legal support to Health Care For All in its organizing and policy work
  • Collaborating with other health care advocates in Massachusetts and nationwide
  • Publishing educational materials
  • Conducting seminars and trainings for consumers, providers, payors, lawyers, advocates, court personnel,  social service workers and others on health care access issues